Monday, September 26, 2011

DNA Test Sale 36 Hours Only!

FTDNA has just announced a 36 hour sale. The details are provided in the company's announcement below. There are sale prices for both new and existing customers who wish to upgrade their test results. If you have been waiting for an opportunity to order a new test or upgrade an existing one, now may be the time. However, to take advantage of these temporary price reductions, you need to order the tests quickly.

Dear Project Administrator,
Thank you for helping us reach 15,000 LIKES on our Facebook page! To show how much we 
like you too, we're offering a 36-HOUR SALE!
START: Monday, September 26 (TODAY) at 12:00pm CDT
END: Tuesday, September 27 at 11:59pm CDT
For NEW customers:
Y-DNA 12 . . . $59 (was $99)
mtDNA . . . $59 (was $99)
Y-DNA 37 . . . $129 (was $149)
Family Finder . . . $199 (was $289)
mtFullSequence (FGS) . . . $229 (was $299)

Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA . . . $118 (was $179)
Family Finder + Y-DNA 12 . . . $248 (was $339)
Family Finder + mtDNA . . . $248 (was $339)
Family Finder + Y-DNA 37 . . . $328 (was $438)
Family Finder + mtFullSequence . . . $398 (was $559)
Comprehensive Genome (Family Finder + mtFullSequence + Y-DNA67) . . . $597 (was $797)

Upgrades & Add-Ons:
mtDNA add-on $59 . . . (was $89)
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) . . . $199 (was $269)
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) . . . $199 (was $239)
mtFullSequence add-on . . . $219 (was $289)
Family Finder add-on . . . $199 (was $289)
Prices will be automatically adjusted on the Family Tree DNA website -- no coupon code 
needed! Important: Promotional orders need to be paid for by the end of this sale. 
Visit us at to order now.
We hope this limited-time sale will give you yet another reason to "LIKE" us!
Thank you for your support!
Family Tree DNA

This offer ends TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th, 2011 11:59pm CDT.
*You do not need to be a member of Facebook to take advantage of this offer. Payment 

must be received at the time of your order. Valid only on products listed. No substitutions. No adjustments will be made on previous purchases. This promotion is not valid in combination with any other promotions. 
Family Tree DNA reserves the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized or ineligible use 
of discounts and to modify or cancel these promotional discounts due to system error or 
unforeseen problems. Subject to change without notice.
© All Contents Copyright 2001-2010 Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who Furnished That Information?

In order to evaluate information, it is important to know who provided that information. Often we can only guess who the source of a particular piece of information might have been. Was it someone who knew the information from firsthand experience? Was it someone who had heard the information passed on orally?

Many original death certificates list the "informant" or the person who was interviewed by the funeral home staff to begin the paper trail that eventually became the official death certificate. This knowledge is helpful in evaluating each separate piece of information on such certificates. Too often researchers do not dig deep enough to find from whom the information came.

In evaluating census information it would be useful to know who provided the information to the census taker. Was it the head of household, the house keeper, a child, a neighbor or someone else? We generally assume it was a member of the household; but was that the case? If the census taker found no one at home and didn't want to have to return, was a neighbor queried? Generally in the past we have not been told who was the source of the family information that was recorded in the census.

In the manual for enumerators of the 1940 US Census, instructions were given to list the following:

Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940, was in this household. Be sure to include:

  • Persons temporarily absent from household. Write “Ab” after names of such persons.
  • Children under 1 year of age. Write “Infant” if child has not been given a first name.
  • Enter “X” after name of person furnishing information.
Bulleted items 1 and 3 above are going to be new to most of us. Both will be useful. Item 3 will be especially useful in evaluating the credibility of each piece of information about each family member. Did the "person furnishing information" know that information firsthand? Now we will have to wait with bated breath to see with what frequency enumerators entered "X" next to a name in the records of each family.

Friday, September 16, 2011 Releases the 1930 Mexico National Census FREE

MarketWatch reports a press release from that announces:

"With nearly 13 million records, the newly available 1930 Mexico National Census (El Quinto Censo General de Poblacion y Vivienda 1930, Mexico) is the most comprehensive historical Mexican census available online(1). It is estimated that this census counted approximately 90 percent of the population, therefore for nearly 30 million Americans who can trace their families to Mexico, it provides a valuable gateway to begin researching Mexican family history, especially if family, vital or religious records are lost." 

Many more details about this resource are available in English or más información en español.

Begin your research in the 1930 Mexico Census for free by visiting:

This was the Mexican Flag in 1930 (Wikipedia)

If you open the pages at using Google Chrome as your browser, it will translate them from English to Spanish or from Español a Inglés. If you are using another browser or just want to translate text, go to for a wide variety of automatic translation options. If you enter the URL (web address) in the search box for a page you need translated, Google will try to translate as much of that page as possible.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1940 Census Free on Through 2013 has announced that "both the images and indexes to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be made free to search, browse, and explore in the United States when this important collection commences streaming onto the website in mid-April 2012."

"When complete, more than 3.8 million original document images containing 130 million plus records will be available to search by more than 45 fields, including name, gender, race, street address, county and state. It will be’s most comprehensively indexed set of historical records to date."

" is committing to make the 1940 Census free from release through to the end of 2013."
As you may know this important resource will by released to public review on April 2, 2012--72 years after the enumeration was conducted. It is unlikely that every name indexes for the larger states will be completed until at least late 2012. Smaller states should be completed earlier. Until those critically important finding aids are available, eager researchers will be able to find ancestors only if they know exactly where the family members were living. 

Steve Morse, Joel Weintraub and David Kehs have been busy breaching this gap. The result is another "One Step" search engine. To make sure you are ready for the big event you can now take their tutorial quiz "How to Access the 1940 Census in One Step." 

I would encourage all of you to test drive this tutorial quiz now. Not only will it prepare you for the first few weeks or months until the every name indexes are complete, it will also introduce you to a tool that can continue to be useful if the indexes do not lead you to all those for whom you search.

For those of you attending the American Library Association Conference in Anaheim in June, 2012, there will be a program of interest on Sunday afternoon --- "Mining Gold From the 1940 Census."

Future family historians may look back at the 1940 Census as the high water mark in richness for their research. Subsequent enumerations rely on more statistical sampling rather than on recording all data on all individuals.

Friday, September 9, 2011

“Geneology”or “Genealogy”??

According to Wikipedia, the term genealogy is based on the Greek terms “genea” (generation) and “logos” (knowledge). Therefore, it would appear that we have the Greeks to thank for the “a” before the “l” in genealogy. My wife has suggested that for most other words with this suffix the spelling is “ology”. Are you aware of other terms that do not follow the “ology” norm?

Why do I care? It is because of the error in the spine title of the first printing my recent book Crash Course in Genealogy. This issue was revived this week when I received books from the second printing with the spine title corrected.

Note that the spine title at the bottom of the above picture is different from the spine title just above it. Spine titles are bigger deals for libraries than they are for the average book reader.

It was ironic that this spelling error was corrected in the same week I reviewed the latest ratings of traffic to genealogy websites. Dick Eastman pointed his readers to a summary done by blogger John Reid who is the author of Anglo-Celtic Connections. Those rankings are interesting in their own right. However, they only make sense if you realize that the numbers after each site represent its rank among all databases on the web---not just genealogy sites.

I was interested why FamilySearch seems to be falling in the rankings so I went to which originates these web traffic reports. I was not surprised to find that "genealogy" was the second most frequent search term for those searching for FamilySearch. However, I was surprised that "geneology" was the fifth most common search term.

High Impact Search Queries for
1family searchHigh
3family treeHigh
4family historyMedium

A little further digging disclosed that "geneology" was a frequent search term on other genealogy sites. Look carefully at the queries ranked 1, 4, 5 & 6 below:

High Impact Search Queries for

2family tree makerHigh
3family treeHigh
7social security death indexMedium

Maybe the original spine title of my book was not so far off the norm after all.